Any advice helps! New chicken owner with 2 sick girls :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HAndrews07, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. HAndrews07

    HAndrews07 In the Brooder

    13
    1
    17
    Oct 22, 2018
    Nova Scotia
    I haven’t yet :( apparently you can’t buy antibiotics at farm stores around here starting December first so a lot of them have already stopped ordering and when they run out that’s it. I have been in touch with a few vets so fingers crossed one will help me out. I also learned that the agricultural college somewhat nearby does fecal samples so I’m going to do that tomorrow! Hopefully that will help is zero in on the issue

    The seeds had been in a cup and they spilled them through the night I guess. I promptly cleaned the area this morning and took them away. I agree with you that we should just be sticking with the feed... my partner on the other hand is harder to convince and thinks they need the protein/roughage. I’ll fight that battle again tonight. Lol We had been giving them a bit of our home grown watermelon as it seems that’s all the barred rock will eat and then we know she is getting fluid... we noticed last night sometimes she spit up some of the water (it was clear) but mostly seemed to happen if she kept a her head down and ate a lot. I will try to wet their lay mash to see if that’s more appetizing to her.

    We actually just started adding grit to this most recent bag of food... so they have probably had grit mixed in with Their lay mash for about 4 weeks. It was mixed in before the symptoms started but maybe I’ll give them another little dish of it to be sure.

    Thank you so much for all your suggestions they have been very helpful!!
     
  2. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

    7,127
    8,637
    556
    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    It is not a good idea to add anything to the complete feed, be it grit, crushed oyster shells or seeds and grains, firstly because you may be giving them more than they need or is healthy for them and secondly because having a variety of components in the feeder can encourage them to bill it out onto the ground so that they can see it more easily and get the bits they want and unfortunately waste the rest or attract rodents to come and clear up after dark. Grit and oyster shell should be offered in separate pots or put in a little pile somewhere but not mixed with feed. If you have the sort of feeder where they can't bill things out then they may be ingesting more than they need. With grit, this can be as much of a problem as too little, because their gizzard will become full of stones and have no room for food. The stones are retained in the gizzard until they are ground down almost to sand, when they then pass out into the intestines. The outlet from the gizzard is quite small in order to retain the grit and grains etc until they have been ground down, so you can see how too much grit would be a problem. The bird will know when they need some, so as long as the dish is there with it, they will take what they need when they need it.
    Personally I very much prefer pelleted feed for chickens because there is so much less waste than with crumbles or mash. It can be soaked in water to make them a wet mash or left for a day or two in the water to ferment which they love.... hope no one ever tells them that it is just plain old pellets soaked in water for a couple of days.... and also have it available dry, free choice in the feeder. Any pellets that are dropped are easily picked up by the birds and eaten but because it is all uniform, they do not bill it out onto the ground anyway. There are a lot of powdery fines in a mash and it is really designed to be mixed with water o be fed, so that the fines which usually contain the vitamins and essential amino acids are mixed in with the feed whereas they often get left in the bottom of the feeder when fed dry. Those elements of the feed are the ones that keep the chickens healthy, so if you have a lot of powdery stuff left in the bottom of your feeder, it needs to be mixed with water and fed to the birds quite regularly.

    Amprolium is not an antibiotic. It is a very mild medicine what basically latches on to vitamin B1 in the digestive tract and prevents it from being absorbed by the coccidia which need it to survive and reproduce, essentially starving them to death. This is why a vitamin supplement should not be given at the same time as Corid (Amprolium) because it counter acts it, but should be given as a follow up treatment. The chicken can survive longer without Vitamin B1 than the coccidia, but it needs to be supplemented after the coccidia have died off. It is used to treat many other animals but supplies of it for cattle should be reasonably accessible at a farm store. Here in the UK you can buy it online in smaller bottles for treatment of pigeons. Amprolium is actually present at a low level in medicated chick feed. Many people assume it is an antibiotic because they have heard that low level antibiotics were routinely fed to chickens but it is just a low dose of an anticoccidiostat (ACS for short) which is what Amprolium is. I would look at getting some sooner rather than later. I am very much against the inappropriate use of antibiotics and I can assure you Amprolium is not an antibiotic.
     
    Isaiah53 likes this.
  3. HAndrews07

    HAndrews07 In the Brooder

    13
    1
    17
    Oct 22, 2018
    Nova Scotia
    The Orpington died :(

    Thanks for the info on the grit! I didn’t know that. So much to learn!!

    Hm. I called several of our farm stores and they all said that things like that could only be purchased at veterinarians. I’ll keep looking.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

    46,090
    32,319
    1,102
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Sorry for your loss. It might be good to get some amprollium if you have another possible outbreak. You can do a necropsy at home to get a look at the abdominal organs to check for what might have been wrong. We can offer suggestions if you take pictures of intestines, liver, and the other organs.
     
    coach723 likes this.
  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

    7,127
    8,637
    556
    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    So sorry to hear you lost one of them. I too would encourage you to cut her open and have a look inside and take photos of eveything. It is surprising how often a cause of death can be identified even with no medical training and really beneficial to become familiar with the inner workings of a bird, so that you can better understand the ailments that they are prone to. Once you get over the emotional upheaval, it is quite fascinating and I find it helps me to cope with the death because I learn something from it. More and more of us her on the forum are doing this and sharing photos so that we can all learn from it. I appreciate it is not something that everyone can get their head around though.
     
    Jenile Volz and coach723 like this.
  6. HAndrews07

    HAndrews07 In the Brooder

    13
    1
    17
    Oct 22, 2018
    Nova Scotia
    Thanks for your condolences. I’m not sure I could do a necropsy at home on this girl. As terrible as it sounds if the barred rock had of died I probably could have but the Orpington was more like a pet to me. Such a funny girl!

    My boyfriend did have to travel for work today and was going by the agricultural college who will preform necropsy’s so he dropped her off along with a stool sample from the remaining chicken

    I agree that seeing the inner workings would be beneficial! If we have another death i will seriously consider that.


    Our barred rocks biggest problem now is her crop. Just not emptying and she throws up. Even when she throws up it still isn’t empty. She has only been taking in water (with electrolytes and tetracycline), no food. Still pooping a little but obviously not a lot. Oh chickens :(

    Still working on getting the amprolium. I don’t know why it’s like trying to find drugs here. I called 4 feed stores and they all told me I had to get it from a vet now. Called 3 vets, 2 don’t deal with poultry in any sense and the third is suppose to call me back sometime.... ugh.
     
  7. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

    7,127
    8,637
    556
    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Have you tried Amazon? Look for Harker's Coxoid although at this stage you might as well wait for the result of the necropsy. They should know pretty quickly if it is coccidiosis. A faecal float is a very basic test. So pleased you are able to get a necropsy and testing done at the agricultural college. Will you update us when you have some results. It can be useful for all of us to learn.
     
  8. HAndrews07

    HAndrews07 In the Brooder

    13
    1
    17
    Oct 22, 2018
    Nova Scotia
    I will update on the results. They said it could take a week for the full report but if something big shows up they said the pathologist would likely call. Thank you all for all your suggestions!

    I will keep trying to find the amprolium, Amazon May be what I need to do. Would be good to have on hand in our chicken first aid kit
     
    rebrascora likes this.
  9. HAndrews07

    HAndrews07 In the Brooder

    13
    1
    17
    Oct 22, 2018
    Nova Scotia
    I received the preliminary report today. She was full of tumours which the pathologist said in this age bird is consistent with Mareks disease :(. They are doing so do a histology of the tumours to confirm. So disappointing.
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

    46,090
    32,319
    1,102
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Isaiah53 likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: